Fox Searchlight introduced its Oscar slate on a strong note with the premieres of “The Favourite,” “The Old Man and the Gun,” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” at Venice and Telluride, but the former is easily its biggest contender in the upcoming awards season. The Yorgos Lanthimos-directed royal drama has drawn rave reviews from its festival screenings, especially for its three central performances from Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz.
“The Favourite,” written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (it’s Lanthimos’ first directorial effort not from a script he wrote or co-wrote), centers around the wicked rivalry between Sarah Churchill (Weisz) and her cousin, Abigail Masham (Stone), to become the trusted adviser to Queen Anne (Colman). IndieWire’s Michael Nordine hailed the film as Lanthimos’ “crowning achievement” in his A- review out of Venice.
Lanthimos has been on the rise in the U.S. following “The Lobster,” which earned him an Oscar nomination for original screenplay. “The Favourite” is widely expected to be his biggest hit to date thanks to the acclaim and his star-studded cast. Anne Thompson, IndieWire’s awards editor, writes the film is a major contender in a handful of congeries, including picture, director, original screenplay, cinematography, and more. Fox Searchlight is still figuring out which acting categories to place Colman, Stone, and Weisz, but all of them are strong bets for a nomination, with Colman eyeing a win.
Fox Searchlight will open “The Favourite” in select theaters November 23. Watch the official trailer below.